Royals and Jeff Francoeur Agree to Terms

In a move that should surprise nobody at all, the Royals announced that they have a deal in place with outfielder Jeff Francoeur for 2011 with a mutual option for 2012. Francoeur will make $2.5 million in 2011 and has the possibility of another $500,000 in bonuses. The 2012 option would pay $3 million.

The Royals have been after a right-handed bat with some power all offseason and Francoeur fits that bill. Dayton Moore’s been after him for a while after seeing him when they were both in the Braves organization where Francoeur had a solid rookie year and two strong seasons after, but fell off in 2008 and was traded to the Mets. He finished last season with the Rangers.

Francoeur is notoriously impatient, as he’s drawn 168 walks from opposing pitchers over nearly 3400 plate appearances. He’s more of a platoon option as a right fielder, as he does have success against left-handed pitching, but his lack of plate discipline drags his OBP to almost Betancourt-ian levels. In his career, Francoeur has reached base in 31% of his appearances. That means he’s made an out in 69% of the others.

A one year deal with an option isn’t too bad and the salary is less than what I thought it would be. Francoeur made $5 million in 2010. The Royals aren’t on the hook for much, and who knows, maybe Francoeur recaptures the ability that put him in the running for Rookie of the Year in 2005 and led to a 29 homer season in 2006. The deal isn’t too different from the same contract the Royals signed Scott Podsednik to last offseason and he performed well enough to be traded to the Dodgers for Luke May and Elisaul Pimentel in July.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Jeff Francoeur Kansas City Royals KC MLB Royals

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  • Tom Barkwell

    Ah Michael, ever the optimist. Good on ya, as my Kiwi friends used to say.

    After watching Frenchy flail away haplessly in the playoffs last year, I find this move particularly depressing (I guess I was still holding out hope against the inevitable). I’ve no doubt we will see much of the same in 2011.

    • Michael Engel

      I was straining very very hard to have a smile on my face as i wrote that so the scorn wouldn’t escape.

      I’ve got 2011 marked down as a pretty dead season anyway. Eyes on 2012. Bring it on!

      I’m sure Francoeur is now going to hit two homers on opening day and spend all of April looking legit and getting people excited, then he’ll fall flat and finish about the same as he has the last three years.

  • Chris Hannum

    Looks like the bad joke is for real. Every time you hear ‘he’s terrible, but I’m sure someone will make him a deal’ does that someone always have to be the Royals? At least no one can claim KC is abusing revenue sharing like Florida.

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  • Eric

    I don’t mind getting him for cheap (assuming he platoons or is the 4th OF) as I have no faith in any of the outfielders that we currently have, Gordon included. The only one I want to watch is Dyson and I agree that he will probably wind up in AAA.